It was Ahmer that started it. He was teasing Shamsa about her pigtails and he stole her favourite doll; of course Shamsa chased him when he ran. Ahmer sprinted through the village and into the nearby woods. He kept holding her doll high above his head and occasionally egging her on by making faces at her as she ran after him.

It was when he dodged and hid behind a tree that it happened. Shamsa was sprinting full tilt and she didn’t realize the cliff that was nearby. It took barely a moment for her to lose her balance and fall, but to her it felt like she was suspended above her doom for an eternity. She screamed as she fell and just as abruptly stopped falling.

When Shamsa opened her eyes she saw that she was on a small ledge jutting out of the cliff face a couple of metres down.

A few moments later and Ahmer’s ashen face appeared atop the cliff face. He didn’t appear to notice her at first, calling her name in more and more desperate tones. Shamsa managed to shout and get his attention and soon convinced him to go and find help. He reluctantly ran off to do as she said. Now, Shamsa was left alone, terrified and sitting on a narrow ledge, she could only pray for salvation.

She sat there for what seemed like an age, before she heard an inquiring squeak from the side. When she turned she saw to her astonishment a teeny squirrel holding out a nut to her. She was wary at first but then at the insistent squeaks she accepted it. The squirrel sat with her and chattered at her as she wondered desperately where her rescue party was. As night fell, she only grew more and more terrified and all around her the sky darkened with clouds and omnious rolls of thunder could be heard. She cursed Ahmer and shivered as she waited. Strangely the squirrel never left her side. Going so far as to cuddle up against her. When the storm seemed ready to release a torrential downpour, Shamsa was despairing. Then she felt a tug on her sleeve. The squirrel was tugging her towards something.

At first Shamsa resisted but slowly her resolve crumbled and with a childs innocent trust she followed the squirrels lead. The squirrel lead her to climb partly down the cliff face and their path was lighted by glowworms and. Somehow following the squirrel’s lead Shamsa ended up in a tunnel that she traversed and soon she emerged out the side. To her shock she discovered that the tunnel led to the edge of the village proper and Shamsa was easily able to find her way home.

When she came home she was greeted with tears of relief and happiness and she discovered that while search parties had been looking for her Ahmer had managed to forget the path to the cliff and so they had not managed to find her.

He was severely punished by both his parents and hers now that Shamsa was safely home. Try as she may, Shamsa never saw the squirrel again. Shamsa tried to tell her parents about the squirrel but nobody believed her. Eventually she gave up. She always kept a full bowl of nuts in her garden though.